I recently hosted a birthday dinner for a friend at Le Voltaire in Paris and I was greatly disapointed. I had eaten at Le Voltaire over the past 30 years always with the greatest of confidence of enjoying a consistently good classical French cuisine. Alas, nothing stays the same forever and Le Voltaire has not changed for the better. Gone is the dedicated, discrete and committed maitre d'hotel to be replaced by a simpering, fawning clown, who did nothing other than draw attention to himself. The food was French but the quality was gone. We started with a vertiable slab of foie gras, splat in the middle of a smallish plate with none of the traditional condiments. Champagne was served in a chilled small wine glass. The toast was rock hard and the rest of the bread was ordinary, a bit stale. I had tasteless quenelles with a sauce that had spent to long under the salamander. I bowl of MacDonalds style chips was plunked in the middle of the table but these were definitely not potatoe but that ubiquitous starch mixture in chip form. I had a bland and unattractive assortment of vegetables garnished with a single cherry tomatoe. My companions also had fish which was eaten and proclaimed 'o.k.' but the comfort factor of tradition, quality and the utmost commitment to the enjoyment of the guest was absent. Horrendously expensive. I won't be back as there are better options in Paris. Good-bye Le Voltaire.